Know where to go this festive season

This festive season, local doctors are reminding people in Waltham Forest that they can dial 111 to find out where to go if they are hurt or unwell.

The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can help people get the right medical care as quickly as possible.

Dr Anwar Khan, chair of NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group and a local GP, said:

“The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS. To allow everyone to get the treatment and advice they need, it’s important to remember that A&E should only be used by people with serious health problems requiring emergency treatment.

“It’s estimated that up to 40% of people who visit A&E do not need to be there. Using the 111 number or thinking about alternatives to A&E can help you to get the treatment and advice that you need more quickly and closer to home. It also allows A&E departments to concentrate their efforts on those in need of emergency care.”

Local walk-in centres like the Oliver Road Polyclinic (75 Oliver Road, Leyton) are open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week and can treat most minor injuries that are urgent but not life threatening - including suspected broken bones, cuts, rashes, minor burns, bruises, bites and stings.

Alternatively, many common illnesses like coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to best look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments.

To find out which pharmacies near you are open over the holidays, or for more information on where you should go for treatment, please call the NHS 111 number.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk